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Luke Kuechly named to 75th anniversary All-America 2nd team

08.21.15 at 12:32 pm ET
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Luke Kuechly prepares to make a tackle during his days at Boston College. (Getty Images)

Luke Kuechly prepares to make a tackle during his days at Boston College. (Getty Images)

Few defensive players at Boston College had the career Luke Kuechly enjoyed in just three seasons at Chestnut Hill. Now, he’s being recognized nationally as one of the best to ever play the college game.

The former linebacker has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) 75th Anniversary All-America Second Team, celebrating the association’€™s All-America teams from near the end of the World War II through the 2014 season. Kuechly is second all-time for career tackles and a two-time consensus All-American.

The FWAA was founded in 1941 and has picked an annual All-America team since 1944, making it the season longest continuously selected team in major college football.

Kuechly, now a starting linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, finished his BC career as one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history.

After his junior season in 2011, in which he set the Boston College record with 191 tackles, including 102 solo stop, he earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the national defensive player of the year, the Butkus Award given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker, the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation’s lineman or inside linebacker of the year and the Lott Impact Trophy given to the defensive player of the year.

Patriots fans remember him for something else. It was Kuechly who held Rob Gronkowski in the end zone on the final play of their Monday night game in 2013 that enable the Panthers to hold on for a

The middle linebacker was a two-time consensus All-American and finished his collegiate career with a school-record 532 tackles, including 299 solo tackles, in 38 games. He holds NCAA records with 15.9 tackles per game for a season, 14.0 tackles per game in a career and 6.13 assisted tackles per game in a career. His 191 total tackles in 2011 ranks second and his 183 in 2010 ranks fourth on the NCAA‘€™s single-season list, while he is still second all-time for career tackles. The St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati) product recorded at double-digit tackles in 34 of his 38 career games, including a streak of 33 straight games.

He was drafted ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and earned All-Pro First-Team honors in 2013 and 2014. He was the 2012 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and the 2013 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year.

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Read More: Boston College, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati, luke kuechly

Damien Woody, Doug Brzezinski tabbed for Boston College Hall of Fame

07.23.15 at 4:47 pm ET
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Damien Woody (63) salutes the Boston College fans following a victory in 1998. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Damien Woody (63) salutes the Boston College fans following a victory in 1998. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Former Boston College football players Doug Brzezinski and Damien Woody are two of the eight former student-athletes who will be inducted into the BC Varsity Club Hall of Fame this fall.

The honorees will be inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9 at Conte Forum. They will also be recognized at halftime of the Eagles’ football game against Wake Forest on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Woody continued a rich tradition of NFL-caliber offensive linemen from Boston College. A native of Beverdam, Virginia, Woody redshirted his first year and earned the starting position in the middle of the O-line in 1996. He was the main cog in the offensive line for four seasons. He earned All-Big East second team and helped three different running back register a combined seven 100–yard rushing games.

In 1997, he was All-Big East second-team honoree as the BC offense accumulated 4,527 yards. In 1998, he started all 11 games and helped Cloud rush for over 100 yards in 10 of 11 games. Woody was the 17th overall selection by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He is currently an NFL analyst for ESPN.

Brzezsinki started 46 games on the offensive line for the Eagles. A native of Livonia, Mich., Brzezinski was a two-time All-Big East first-team honoree. As a senior, Brzezinski served as a team captain and earned the Thomas F. Scanlon Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete.

He was a member of a line which helped the offense accumulate 4,527 total yards and aided the 1998 All-American running back Mike Cloud to rush for 1,726 yards, third most in the country. BC’s offensive line tradition continued as Brzezinski was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played in 73 games in the NFL.

Along with Brzezinski, a 1998 graduate, and Woody, a 1999 graduate, are Chris Georgules `95 (track and field), Mary Guarino `00 (women’s soccer), Paul Keegan `96 (men’s soccer), Mike Mottau `00 (men’s ice hockey), Alissa Murphy Richardson `00 (women’s basketball) and Kelly McManus Souza `02 (women’s ice hockey).

Read More: Boston College, Damien Woody, Doug Brzezinski, Football

ACC poll: Boston College picked to finish 5th in Atlantic Division

07.21.15 at 9:49 am ET
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At the annual ACC Football Kickoff at the Pinehurst Resort, 158 media members voted Boston College to finish fifth in the Atlantic Division.

According to the poll, BC is picked to finish better than Wake Forest, Virginia and Syracuse among the 14 teams in the entire conference.

Last season, BC went 7-6 and was 4-4 in conference play. The Eagles will return running back Jon Hilliman, who had 13 touchdowns last season, and their top two leading tacklers in defensive back Justin Simmons and middle linebacker Steven Daniels. However, they will be without one of their biggest playmakers from 2014, quarterback Tyler Murphy, who led the team in rushing yards with 1,181 and total touchdowns with 24.

Clemson was picked to win the conference over three-time defending champion Florida State out of the Atlantic Division. The poll also tabbed Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division title.

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year after racking up 14 passing touchdowns and a 188.6 passer rating as a freshman in 2014.

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Source: Jack Eichel to leave BU, sign with Sabres

07.01.15 at 9:24 am ET
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This isn’t surprising but now it’s finally on the verge of being official. Jack Eichel will leave Boston University and sign with the Sabres, according to a source. The Sabres drafted Eichel with the second overall pick Friday night.

Eichel was expected to turn pro all along after dominating college hockey as a freshman, but he and those close to him insisted that he was giving serious consideration to a return to BU for one more season. Eichel often spoke about how much he enjoyed being at BU.

Eichel, a North Chelmsford native, won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman after leading the country with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 40 games. He became the youngest player to win the Hobey and just the second freshman to do so, joining Maine’€™s Paul Kariya (1993).

He helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles as well as a Frozen Four berth, although they ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Shawn Stepner of WKBW in Buffalo reported earlier Wednesday that Eichel is expected to sign his contract with the Sabres today. WEEI.com’s source could not confirm that the deal will definitely get done today, but Eichel is indeed signing with Buffalo.

Hurricanes draft BC defenseman Noah Hanifin with fifth overall pick

06.26.15 at 7:43 pm ET
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Make it two local players in the top five. After Jack Eichel went second overall to the Sabres, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin was drafted fifth overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Hanifin, a Norwood native, finished his freshman season with five goals and 18 assists in 37 games. The 6-foot-3 Hanifin is good at both ends of the ice, with his defensive-zone play notably improving throughout the year at BC. His biggest strength is his skating. He was named to Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team and was also a Second Team All-Star.

Hanifin had originally been ranked third by Connor McDavid and Eichel, but his stock slipped a little despite a very good second half with the Eagles.

Sabres draft BU’s Jack Eichel with second overall pick

06.26.15 at 7:30 pm ET
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As expected, the Buffalo Sabres drafted Boston University star Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the NHL draft.

Eichel, a North Chelmsford native, won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman after leading the country with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 40 games. He became the youngest player to win the Hobey and just the second freshman to do so, joining Maine’s Paul Kariya (1993).

He helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles as well as a Frozen Four berth, although they ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Eichel now needs to decide if he’s going to turn pro and sign with the Sabres or return to BU for his sophomore season. The prevailing thought is that he’ll turn pro, but Eichel and those close to him have insisted all along that returning to BU is a realistic option.

When asked about the decision after getting picked Friday night, Eichel told NBC Sports, “I guess we’ll find out in a few days.”

Boston College 1B Chris Shaw selected by Giants in first-round of MLB draft

06.09.15 at 9:50 am ET
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With the 31st pick in the 2015 MLB draft, the Giants selected Chris Shaw, a first baseman from Boston College. The Giants had received the compensation pick for Pablo Sandoval, who signed a $95 million deal with the Red Sox this offseason after the Giants had given him a qualifying offer.

The Giants made Shaw the highest Boston College pick since Tony Sanchez was taken fourth overall by the Pirates in 2009. A native of Lexington, Massachusetts, Shaw has until mid-July to sign a contract with the Giants or return to Boston College for his senior season.

Shaw played 40 games for Boston College this season, turning in team high’s in batting average (.319), home runs (11) and RBIs (43). He had a slashline of .319/.411/.611 and earned All-ACC Second Team honors.

“He is a guy that we think has a legitimate chance of hitting in the middle of the lineup,” Giants scouting director John Barr said of Shaw, via The San Jose Mercury News.

The 21-year-old was the 45th best prospect in the draft according to Baseball America’s pre-draft rankings, while ESPN’s Keith Law had him ranked 58th.

Shaw played in the Cape Cod League last summer against some of the best collegiate competition in the country. The lefty dominated, leading the league in dingers with eight and creating a name for himself by hitting 450-foot homers over the center field wall in the league’s home run derby.

Despite his raw power, Shaw has been knocked for his plate discipline. Scouts do not think his high collegiate OBP will translate to professional baseball.

“Shaw is very aggressive at the plate and doesn’€™t make pitchers work enough for someone with his power,” wrote Chris Crawford of Baseball Prospectus.

This is the second consecutive year an Eagle has been drafted as the Yankees took Andrew Chin in last year’s draft as a redshirt sophomore.

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UMass transfer Derrick Gordon lands at Seton Hall, decries ‘blatant homophobia’ at some colleges

05.18.15 at 12:46 pm ET
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Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon, who made headlines when he became the first openly gay Division 1 men’s basketball last year before his junior season at UMass, announced that he is transferring to Seton Hall.

Gordon reiterated that he left UMass for reasons related to his on-court role on the team. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season.

“It really had nothing to do with my sexuality or anything like that,” he told USA Today. “Everything was great at UMass. There were no issues. We showered together and I don’t look at my teammates like that. … At the beginning, were they uncomfortable? Yeah. But they were real with me, expressed concern, and we dealt with it. That made us better friends, better teammates.”

However, when looking at transfer possibilities, Gordon said a number of schools made it clear they had no interest in him because of his sexual orientation.

“During the recruiting process, a number of schools didn’t want me because I’m gay,” he said. “To me, that’s blatant homophobia. At the end of the day, no coaches will ever admit that they don’t want me because I’m gay and there’s baggage that comes with the attention.

“Honestly, it caught me off guard. It really hurt. It had me stressed, crying. I was starting to lose hope. I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn’t belong in the NCAA. I couldn’t believe it because I’m a good player and they were looking at the opposite — something that doesn’t mean anything with my [sexuality]. … ‘Nah, not the gay guy.’ ”

Gordon, who played high school ball in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and started his college career at Western Kentucky, can play immediately at Seton Hall as a graduate transfer. He’ll help coach Kevin Willard replace leading scorer Sterling Gibbs, who transferred to UConn.

While he remains the only Division 1 player to publicly reveal his homosexuality, Gordon said he doesn’t expect to be alone much longer.

“It won’t be surprising if there are more players coming out very soon,” he said.

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Sources: BU’s Evan Rodrigues to sign free agent deal with Sabres

04.21.15 at 8:31 pm ET
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Boston University forward Evan Rodrigues will sign with the Buffalo Sabres, according to sources. The undrafted free agent ranked second in the country with 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists) in 41 games as a senior while playing on a line with freshman star Jack Eichel. Interestingly enough, Buffalo is also the probable landing spot for Eichel now that the Sabres have the second overall pick.

Rodrigues is a 5-foot-11 right shot from Etobicoke, Ontario. He played left wing this season, but had also played on the right side for stretches of his BU career. Rodrigues is a stellar two-way player who featured prominently on both the penalty kill and power play for the Terriers. BU coach David Quinn has said that Rodrigues is one of the smartest college hockey players he has ever coached.

Rodrigues helped lead the Terriers to Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles this season, as well as a Frozen Four appearance. They ultimately fell to Providence in the national championship game.

Providence celebrates national championship hockey team

04.14.15 at 10:57 pm ET
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The national championship Providence hockey team was honored at a ceremony Tuesday. (John Rooke)

The national championship Providence College hockey team was honored at a ceremony Tuesday at Schneider Arena. (John Rooke)

For some fans of Providence College, it hasn’t really sunk in. Not yet, anyway.

That was a prevailing feeling among many of the 1,200-plus fans, faculty, students and alumni who took time from their Tuesday afternoon to join the Providence Friars hockey team for a national championship celebration at Schneider Arena on the PC campus. Beating Hockey East rival Boston University, 4-3, in the title game Saturday night in the Frozen Four at TD Garden, with a sudden and somewhat shocking comeback in the final period, wasn’t totally unexpected — even if the way the Friars managed to do it was a bit surprising.

Senior forward and captain Ross Mauermann, admitting he’s still coming to grips with the NCAA Tournament run that began in Providence in the regional (with wins over Miami and Denver), told the crowd the championship was just part of a team dream that had suddenly come true.

“Each one of us believed that we could get this done,” Mauermann told the appreciative crowd. “We trusted in one another and we just came together.”

With 8:36 left in the third period of the title game, junior defenseman Tom Parisi simply dumped the puck from center ice into the BU zone, where it was caught — and then inexplicably dropped — by Terriers goaltender Matt O’Connor. The puck crawled through O’Connor’s pads into the goal to tie the score at 3. Sensing opportunity — if not true good fortune — the Friars scored the game-winning goal two minutes later when junior forward Brandon Tanev wristed a shot past O’Connor from the slot.

Providence goalie Jon Gillies, the Frozen Four’s Most Outstanding Player, came up with his career-high 49th save on a diving, twisting stop with a minute remaining to seal the victory. It was quite the comeback for the Friars, who had managed to give up the fastest two goals in NCAA Tournament history to the Terriers — just four seconds apart — in the second period for a 2-1 BU advantage.

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